Longtime Rio Rancho High School softball coach Paul Kohman was asked 10 questions by the Observer. His Rams were 15-6 in 2021, ending the season after a 4-1 loss to Carlsbad in the quarterfinals. Here are his responses:
Highlights from 2021 season? Scoring more runs against Piedra Vista in two games than the combined total of all their other games.
Worst nightmare(s) of 2021 season? Having to wear masks in 105-degree heat.
Top returning players for 2022? Alphabetical order by grade: Madison Begaye, Mis Flores, Kionna King, Kayla Reed, Ashley Burriel, Katie Elliott, Labraida Tenorio, Mia Martinez, Arianna Valenzuela.
Varsity newcomers? Ryleigh Garvin, Olivia Haack, Taylor Sandoval, Aleah Alvarado, Olivia Chavez, Destiny Gonzales, Alivia Henderson, Marissa Valdez.
Who’s the first girl at practice and the last girl to leave? They all arrive after school and leave at the same time.
Team you face that if you beat, you know it’ll be a good season? Carlsbad, Hobbs, Piedra Vista, Centennial — and all of our district.
Who’s the front-runner or pre-season favorite in District 1-5A? See above.
For my team to get to the 5A state championship softball game, we’ll need to: win our last 6 games.
What do you hear yourself saying to your players, year after year? Short version is “Trust the process.”
What’s the most-important skill you hope your players have? The mentality to recover quickly from a mistake and not let it linger on all day.
Assistant coaches/roles: Dan Elliott (varsity), Jeff Garcia (varsity), Christal Bradford (varsity), Luis Hernandez (junior varsity), Pam Hedrick (junior varsity).